A MOTHER of three is running a marathon out of sympathy for a family whose 11-year-old son died.

Serena Spencer-Jones, 46, met Judi Mills on the touchline of Marlow Rugby Club where her son Marcus, 18, used to play.

Judi’s son Harry, also a keen Marlow Rugby Club player, died suddenly of meningitis in April last year, and out of respect Mrs Spencer-Jones will be running the New York Marathon.

She said: “I’m running it because I met Judi Mills when my son used to play rugby at Marlow Rugby Club.

“I knew her as a touchline mummy.”

She has decided to donate any money she makes from the November 2 race to the Meningitis Research Foundation, a charity that works to tackle the illness.

Another reason for choosing the charity was that her 23-year-old goddaughter Amy Morgan contracted the illness recently.

She said: “It just goes to show it’s not only children that are affected, but adults as well.

“Her mother knew something was wrong and took her to hospital, so she was lucky.”

Mrs Spencer-Jones will fly to New York to join other 100,000 runners for the 26.2 mile race.

Though her children Marcus, Marie, 25, and Lucy, 24, will be unable to come with, her husband Joff will be there to give her support.

She said: “I’ve been training hard so I’m as prepared as I can be for the marathon.

“I’m really looking forward to the race – the atmosphere will be amazing. I’d be happy to finish in four hours 30 minutes, but for me the experience is as important than the finishing time.”